2015 champion Nao Hibino made it three wins in a row over Eugenie Bouchard to reach the second round at the Tashkent Open, celebrating its 20th year on the WTA Tour. The Japanese, who finished as a runner-up in 2016, extended to 11-2 her win-loss record in the tournament as she won 9 of 12 close games.
Beaten in the second round to eventual champion Kateryna Bondarenko twelve months ago, Hibino gained 74% of first serve points and came back from a break down in the second set to his second victory in the Asian Swing. Hibino, in fact, came off a first-round exit in Tokyo as a qualifier, she was bidding for only her second Top 100 win of 2018 against Cibulkova, and a second-round showing at Hiroshima (l.
S.Zhang) where she had knocked out Bouchard a few weeks ago. Hibino, who's 2-10 in the last 12 matches against Top 100 players, will meet No.6 seed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova for the first-time in the second round. Also into the second round, No.5 seed Tatjana Maria scored a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Natalia Vikhlyantseva in just over an hour, while Fiona Ferro came back from a set down and saved a match point to Jana Fett before completing a 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 win.
Ferro will face Kateryna Kozlova or the No.1 seed Irina-Camelia Begu who won her first WTA title here in 2012. Last year, the Romanian suffered against Vera Zovareva the maiden first-round loss in four appearances. Against the 2017 quarter-finalist Kozlova, she lead 2-1 their head to head although she lost their most recent meeting at the US Open last year.
Young qualifier Anastasia Potapova, who joined the four teenagers competing in the main draw, upset 4-6 7-6(3) 6-3 the No.4 seed Stefanie Vögele who clinched five games in a row to seal the opening set. The Russian extended to 8-5 her win-loss record in tiebreaks this season and sealed the opening break to cruise in the decider towards her seventh comeback win of the season after losing the first set.